TRUTH: Alive when Dead

There are many seemingly contradictory realities in our literature or in our lives. For example George Orwell wrote 1984, a political novel, as a means to address his concern how governments manipulate and control its citizenry. Orwell was truly concerned with how technology could be used to monitor and control the public. 1984 was intended to be a stern warning to Western readers of what could occur in as little as 35 years if they didn’t act immediately to prevent totalitarianism from taking hold in their own countries.

In 1984, doublethink surfaced as a theme of how governments achieved their deceptive aims. Doublethink is the ability to hold two contradictory opinions at the same time about the same question, remaining untroubled by the contradiction and expressing one opinion or the other as the convenience of the Party requires it. There are a myriad of examples that illustrate doublethink in 1984, but it has been submitted that perhaps the most obvious example of doublethink in 1984 can be found in the names of the Party’s four ministries. They include the Ministry of Plenty that oversees shortages of resources, the Ministry of Peace that declares and conducts war, the Ministry of Love that doles out cruel harsh punishments and torture, and the Ministry of Truth that spreads propaganda and revises historical facts.

I am sure that we can recall many contradictory examples in our daily lives too, but I do not want us to presuppose those same sentiments as we read scripture. I will admit that there are what appear to be a few contradictory statements in scripture, but they are not. God is omniscient. God is truthful. God does not lie, change His mind or break His promises. Consequently, we should not think God is contradicting Himself as we read the Word as doublethink is not the rule in the Word of God.

Despite that, we need to give pause and investigate deeply those theological principles that initially give rise to doublethink. TRUTH: Alive when Dead is one of those principles. In Ephesians 2, I did a double take at what was seemingly doublethink as I read the TRUTH: Alive when Dead.

Ephesians 2:3b-10

Like the rest, we were by nature deserving of wrath. But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus.For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast. 10 For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

How can someone be Alive when Dead? Perhaps, one passage that illustrates that truth is Romans 5:6-10

You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through him! 10 For if, while we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life!

The entire point of the passage in Ephesians 2 revolves around God’s love. It was because of God’s love that His mercy was granted to us. It was God’s love for Adam and all his descendants that caused God to put a plan of redemption in place. While the sacrificial system in the Old Testament pointed to Christ’s sacrifice, make no mistake, it is Jesus who most exemplifies the love of God. God loved us long before we loved Him. John said, “We love because he first loved us.” I John 4:19-21 When God made the commitment to re-establish relationship with man, all those who would be adopted as sons and daughters were made alive at that very moment though many had not even been born.

Again, the point of how can one be Alive when Dead is rooted in Christ. Jesus is God’s only  instrument to bring about salvation. Without Christ, no one will be saved from the wrath of God related to our rebellion (trespasses) and failures (sin). It is clear that we are spiritually dead without God regenerating us or giving us life through Jesus Christ, but the TRUTH: Alive when Dead solely refers to the time that God decided to provide Christ as a means for man to be reunited with God, so you see God is far from demonstrating doublethink. On the contrary, He is straight forward in His ways. The question is do you know if you are Alive or Dead. To be certain that you make the right determination, read TRUTH: How to Assess Your Spiritual Vitality

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